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CBC Pillars


Established in 1994 by David Wang and Mei Xu, Pacific Trade International is a fully integrated global distributor of home fragrance, fragrance technology, and home décor.

As entrepreneurs, Mei and David started the business by importing a variety of products for fragrance and the home with family and friends. After a successful exhibition at the Charlotte Gift Fair in North Carolina, one product stood out from everything else: candles. With a long list of new customers, their products became available in about one-hundred stores by the end of 1994. A workshop was set-up in the basement of their home in Annapolis, Maryland — and, they created their first candle collection by using Campbell’s soup cans as molds. Chesapeake Bay Candle found its niche in the marketplace as a consumer-inspired company focused on fragrance and driven by design.  Today, with operational headquarters based in Rockville, Maryland and Asian headquarters in Hangzhou, China – Pacific Trade International has a total of six global locations and employs more than two thousand people worldwide.  In June 2011, the first domestic manufacturing facility for Chesapeake Bay Candle opened in Glen Burnie, Maryland.

Pacific Trade International is the parent company of Chesapeake Bay Candle and Alassis.


It was at the Europe’s largest gift fair, Ambiente show, in Frankfurt where Mei discovered interior lifestyle goods, refreshing contemporary styles & modern pop colors. The experience was an evident contrast to the generic home departments she had seen in Manhattan stores. Mei realized she had found a new window of opportunity!

When Mei returned to U.S., Peter French, owner of French Color and Fragrance Company, invited Mei, David, and their first partner, Richard, to come learn the basics of candle making at his offices in New Jersey. Bubbling with anticipation, the small team returned to Annapolis, Maryland and used Campbell’s soup cans as molds in the basement of their home to create their first candles.


Leaving out the additive needed to create a seamless satin finish, Mei, David and Richard coincidentally created a mottled texture that would later become a Chesapeake Bay Candle signature look.

With a striking, contemporary collection and an established network of retailers, only one thing was missing: a name for their soon-to-be successful brand.

Mesmerized and inspired by the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay shoreline near their home, they decided to pay tribute and named the collection Chesapeake Bay Candle.


By the spring of 1995, Mei was scheduling appointments with retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom’s to show off her first line of hand-made candles. Blessed with success, it seemed no matter where the candles were presented, buyers demanded it for their stores. Over the course of the years, Chesapeake Bay Candle went on to establish partnerships with America’s most renowned retailers including Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Hallmark, and was twice recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing privately owned companies


Early on, Pacific Trade International found its niche in the marketplace as a consumer-inspired company focused on fragrance and driven by design. The ability to provide fully integrated services in consumer research, comparative market research, and product design and development has played a critical role in our success.

Known as a design and fragrance leader within the industry, today we are trusted by brand partners for our expertise in consumer trends, identified through a unique global research process. Anchoring each of our collections is a macro trend, which responds to consumer attitudes and reflects trends in fragrance, color, design, and texture relevant to our industry.


With operational headquarters based in Rockville, Maryland and Asian headquarters in Hangzhou, China, Pacific Trade International has a total of six global locations and employs more than two thousand people worldwide.


Overseeing all business strategy including product design and development, sales and operations, and marketing, our Rockville headquarters works hand in hand with our Asian management in Hangzhou, China.


Our Asian headquarters is a driving force behind product innovation, research and development, and also specializes in the production of home fragrance alternatives and home décor goods. Collaborating closely with the PTI Sourcing Center in Shanghai, it also houses our regional Sales Office and a Design Studio.


To fulfill our promise of delivering premium products and services to retailers and consumers in the U.S. and around the globe, we have established vertically integrated operations and a unique network of global vendor partners. Today each of our four factories is ISO 9001 certified and equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, allowing every location to specialize in the production of different product categories.


Our first factory was established in 1995 in Hangzhou, China and continues to manufacture home fragrance alternatives such as reed diffusers, room sprays and oil warmers as well as gift sets and home décor items, today.

Meanwhile, our most artisanal candle products – pillar candles in an impressive range of sizes and finishes, votives, tea lights, and gift sets – are produced by our manufacturing facility in Haiphong, Vietnam. A broad range of the artisanal wax products manufactured at Aroma Bay Candle are hand-made by skilled candle artisans.


Based in Glen Burnie, Maryland, our first domestic manufacturing facility opened in June 2011, and produces an extensive range of filled vessel goods through standardized, automated production processes. Equipped with a state-of-the art research and development center, as well as burn testing and fragrance evaluation labs, the Glen Burnie location also houses an impressive warehouse and operates a distribution center within its 117,200 square feet of space.


Pacific Trade International has a standing commitment to pursuing initiatives that protect the environment as we meet the needs of our business.  Our company was inspired by the Chesapeake Bay as an irreplaceable and bountiful natural resource and our managers and employees are aligned with a culture of environmental awareness. Together, we are committed to a strategy of adopting sustainable materials, processes and practices that are beneficial to the environment. Our continued growth brings with it a responsibility to the communities and locations we serve, particularly a commitment to environmental sustainability. We have undertaken a number of initiatives that reflect our investment in environmental sustainability in the areas of energy efficiency, use of sustainable materials for ingredients and packaging, and re-purposing or recycling of materials used in production.


Social responsibility is one of Pacific Trade International’s core values and an integral component of the company’s philosophy, spirit and culture.

It was in the late 1980s – long before Pacific Trade International was established – that Mei Xu took on an internship-turned-job as a Project Coordinator at the World Bank, working to implement water systems for those less fortunate. Traveling to countries such as Bangladesh, Mongolia, Sweden and Britain, she discovered not only affection for travel and other cultures, but a strong passion for social work, as well.

Today, we believe it is our obligation as a successful company to give back to our community and support charitable organizations. We have a history of supporting groups with which we have a special connection, including The Committee of 200, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Meridian International Center, National Gallery of Art, Children’s National Medical Center, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

For 2010 and 2011, Chesapeake Bay Candle partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer research movement. Through this initiative, Chesapeake Bay Candle proudly introduced a special collection of candles inspired by the thousands of women that have heroically battled breast cancer, as well as the loved ones that have held their hands throughout the fight. As we inspire, imagine, and hope for the cure, one dollar from every candle sold went to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.